Florida, Michigan get all delegates, but each gets half vote – CNN.com

WASHINGTON (CNN) — After a day of wrangling in front of a sometimes unruly crowd, the Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws committee reinstated all of Florida and Michigan’s delegates to its party convention, with each getting a half-vote to penalize the states for moving their primaries earlier than the party had approved.

The move will leave front-runner Sen. Barack Obama’s lead over rival Sen. Hillary Clinton intact.

“This results in Sen. Clinton obtaining a substantial number of additional pledged delegates, but I also understand that many members of the Florida and Michigan delegations feel satisfied that the decision was fair,” Obama said after a campaign event in Aberdeen, South Dakota. “Our main goal is to get this resolved so we can immediately turn the focus of the entire party on winning Florida and Michigan and delivering on the needs of the people in Florida and Michigan — states that are enormously important, states where a lot of people are struggling.”

The Florida decision, which follows the pro-Clinton results of that state’s primary, was greeted by virtually all sides as an acceptable compromise on a thorny issue. But Clinton backers vowed to fight the Michigan decision, which gave the New York senator a 10-delegate edge over Obama in a state where his name didn’t appear on the primary ballot.

So let me get this straight …

Florida and Michigan didn’t play by the rules, and held their primaries early in defiance of the Democratic National Committee.

Barack Obama did not campaign in either state, and along with all the candidates EXCEPT Hillary Clinton, removed his name from the ballot in Michagan.

All of the candidates, including both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, agreed that the two states should be stripped of their delegates as punishment.

When Senator Clinton starts falling behind in the delegate count, she starts lobbying to have the delegates seated.

When the Democratic Party’s Rules Committee comes up with a compromise, the New York Senator is still unhappy because in the process, they decided that Barack Obama shouldn’t be punished for having played by the rules from the very beginning, and removing his name from the ballot in Michigan.

So now her team is talking about taking the fight all the way to the convention in Denver in late August.

Listen, Senator Clinton, politics is about compromise … you can’t always get your way, and you have to play by the rules … not just the ones that work in your favor.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but your actions are tearing the Party apart … and what’s important is defeating McCain in November … and all the hope that was building in the early days of the campaign season is starting to fade. Many Democrats are losing their excitement for the process, and many of the new voters which Barack Obama has brought into the process are already getting jaded and saying “what does it matter?”

It’s time to end this. It’s time to select the candidate with the most delegates, and start to focus on reuniting the Party for November.